The Unknown and Forgotten Women Warriors of India


1. Rani Abbakka Chowta – The Queen who made Portuguese Colonisers Miserable.

Rani Abbakka – First Tuluva Queen Of Ullal (Present-day Mangalore).
From a young age, Rani Abbakka was trained to be a good ruler. She was taught how to wield a sword and how to fight with, military strategies, archery, diplomacy, and other subjects.
The Chows followed a Matrilineal System.

The only woman in history to confront, fight, and repeatedly defeat the Portuguese. Rani Abbakka’s courage and indomitable spirit are at par with the legendary Rani Laxmi Bai, Rani Chennamma.

Yet little is written about her in the History Books.

When Portuguese became the first Europeans to find a sea route to India Vasco Da Gama in 1498.

After their establishments, in 1526 the Portuguese captured Mangalore Port. Their next target was Ullal, as the Chowtas were a Matrilineal Dynasty the kind’s heir was his Young niece Abbakka.

The Portuguese had an eye on Ullal as it flourished under Rani Abbakka’s leadership. They couldn’t earn money from Ullal.

Which enraged the Portuguese they threatened Abbakka, but she continued to defy them by letting her ships continue to trade with The Arabs. Despite being attacked by the Portuguese.

In the first attempt, the Portuguese failed in capturing Ullal, as they took Rani Abbakka very lightly as she drove out their Highly Skilled Soldiers.

In 1556, the Portuguese sent a large fleet Commanded by Admiral Don Alvaro De Silveira to capture Ullal. She once again fought valiantly and defeated them.

2. Belawadi Mallamma – Belgaum – Karnataka

Daughter of Madhulinga Nayaka, Sode Kind. Belwadi Mallama was the first woman to have a specially trained women’s army in the 17th Century to wage war against the British. And also Mighty Powerful Maratha army led by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.


Yes, you read that right she went on to fight the Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj army whom even the British rulers and Mughals were scared of.

Mallamma and Chatrapathi Shivaji

There was a battle in Belawadi in which Yesaji husband of Malama was killed by Marathas, but Mallamma continued the fight with the help of her women warriors.

After some time she retreated and asked for a truce which Shivaji Maharaj Agreed.

She complained to Shivaji Maharaj about her warrior personnel harassed her women warriors. Shivaji Punished Sukhoji.

The great Maratha Ruler found a valiant and brave women warrior in Belawadi Mallamma he set her liberty immediately and gave back her Kingdom.

Shivaji Maharaj’s Respect for women.

He was brought by his mother Jijabai and she had a tremendous influence on him, so since childhood, he had a deep respect for women.

Being a courageous warrior Belawadi Mallamma earned the respect of a Maharaja of high caliber and character like Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj.

And Shivaji Maharaj his spirit of appreciation, humility and abiding respect for a talented warrior woman like Mallamma all were well expressed.


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